Expanded field, returning teams set for Phillip Island fight
THE RETURN of Lamborghini, a second outright-contending Porsche, key Mercedes-AMG and Audi combinations and the debut of a brand-new Invitational car highlight the field assembling for the third round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS.
Just two weeks after the most recent round in Perth, a 21-strong field will assemble at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in Victoria next weekend for the continuation of what is shaping as a thrilling battle for the championship this year.
Current championship leader Liam Talbot will reunite with regular co driver Fraser Ross at Phillip Island aboard their Shannons Insurance Audi R8.
International racing commitments have kept Ross out of the seat alongside Talbot for the opening two rounds, with the Victorian keen to return on home turf next week.
Talbot’s race-winning partner from the first two rounds, young Austrian ace Max Hofer, will shift across to the #75 Jamec Racing Audi to drive with Geoff Emery at Phillip Island.
Hofer has been a revelation since his local debut in the opening round at Mount Panorama at Easter, helping Talbot to wins in three of the four races held so far.
Talbot’s closest title rivals, EMA Motorsport / The Bend Motorsport Park Porsche drivers Yasser Shahin and Garnet Patterson, head into the event unchanged.
Returnees to the field include the Wall Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Adrian Dietz and David Wall and the Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3R of father-son team, Stephen and Brenton Grove.
Other additions include the 2023 championship debut of the Melbourne Performance Centre entered Audi R8 to be driven by Andrew Fawcett and Dylan O’Keeffe.
The duo, with third driver Daniel Gaunt, paired up at the Bathurst 12 Hour earlier this year where they finished 12th outright and won the Silver Class at Mount Panorama.
Dutton Garage’s George Nakas joins also joins the field in his Audi R8 LMS.
Harrolds Volante Rosso Motorsport also add a second car, thanks to the debut of a brand-new Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Chris Batzios and Sam Brabham.
In the trophy class, Perth winner Renee Gracie will have competition in the form of Tigani Motorsport’s Paul Lucchitti, who has entered his Audi R8 LMS Ultra.
Two MARC Cars Australia entries will compete in the Invitational Class, including the Australian debut of the brands new ‘Marc GT’ racer in the hands of Geoff Taunton and experienced Kiwi, Daniel Jilesen. A second Marc II Mustang will be driven by Darren Currie.
Missing from the Phillip Island grid are the pair of Johor Motor Racing / Triple Eight Mercedes AMG GT3 entries, that team committed to the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia championship that commences the same weekend as the Phillip Island event.
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS field will tackle a pair of one-hour races at the Shannons SpeedSeries event at Phillip Island on 12-14 May.
For those who are unable to make the trip to Phillip Island, Stan Sport will provide live and uninterrupted coverage from most of Saturday and Sunday’s action, while 9Gem will also broadcast three hours of Saturday afternoon’s racing.
ENTRY LIST – Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS, Round 3
|CAR||CLASS||SPONSOR||DRIVER 1||SURNAME||DRIVER 2||SURNAME||MAKE||MODEL|
|1||Pro/Am||EMA Motorsport/The Bend Motorsport Park||Yasser||Shahin||Garnet||Patterson||Porsche||911 GT3R (991.2)|
|4||Pro/Am||Grove Motorsport||Stephen||Grove||Brenton||Grove||Porsche||912 GT3R (991.2)|
|5||Am||Dutton Garage||George||Nakas||Ben||Stack||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|6||Pro/Am||Wall Racing||Adrian||Deitz||David||Wall||Lamborghini||Huracan GT3 Evo|
|8||Am||MC Labour||Michael||Kokkinos||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|10||Pro/Am||Myland||Andrew||Fawcet||Dylan||O’Keeffe||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|20||Invitational||Marc Cars Australia||Geoff||Taunton||Dan||Jilesen||Marc||GT|
|22||Am||Team MPC||Ash||Samadi||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|23||Am||KFC||Matt||Stoupas||Paul||Stokell||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|44||Am||Valmont Racing/Tigani Motorsport||Marcel||Zalloua||Sergio||Pires||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|45||Am||RAM Motorsport / GWR Australia||Michael||Sheargold||Garth||Walden||Mercedes||AMG GT3|
|55||Am||Schumacher Motorsport/Kelso Electrical||Brad||Schumacher||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|65||Pro/Am||Shannons||Liam||Talbot||Fraser||Ross||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|66||GT3 Trophy||Realta/Tigani Motorsport||Paul||Lucchitti*||Audi||R8 LMS Ultra|
|75||Pro/Am||Jamec Racing||Geoff||Emery||Maximilian||Hofer||Audi||R8 LMS Evo 2|
|95||Invitational||Marc Cars Australia||Darren||Currie||Ford||Marc II Mustang|
|96||Pro/Am||Hobson Motorsport||Mike||Bailey||Brett||Hobson||Mercedes||AMG GT3|
|101||Pro/Am||Harrolds Racing/Volante Rosso Motorsport||Ross||Poulakis||Jayden||Ojeda||Mercedes||AMG GT3|
|102||Pro/Am||Harrolds Racing/Volante Rosso Motorsport||Christos||Batzios||Sam||Brabham||Mercedes||AMG GT3|
|181||GT3 Trophy||Only Fans||Renee||Gracie*||Audi||R8 LMS Ultra|